JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Continuing on in our recipes-on-Sunday vein, I offer to you my mother's Big Fake Trifle. That's not what she calls it; I believe she offers it to her guests as mixed-fruit trifle. I refer to it as a Big Fake for two reasons. One; it's about as fat-free, sugarless and low calorie as one can get with a dessert, but it tastes sinfully rich. Two; it takes a grand total of ten minutes to make, but if you serve it in a fancy trifle dish (one of the ones with clear glass sides so the layering effect can be admired) people will swear you slaved over it for hours. That makes it, to my mind, the ideal treat to bring to almost any occasion.
Big Fat Trifle
One angel food cake, cut into bite-sized pieces. (No, you don't make the cake yourself. You're not Martha Stewart.)
One package of no-fat vanilla pudding
Milk (anything from skim to whole)
One container of Fat-Free Cool Whip
One bag of frozen fruit, defrosted, and an equal amount of cut-up fresh fruit. Use whatever you have lying about the house, or, if you're really into saving time on prep, get one of those pre-cut fruit salad bowls at the market.
Mix the pudding mix with slightly less than the amount of milk called for on the package - usually about 1 3/4 cups. Blend the resulting vanilla pudding goodness into the Cool Whip container. (This recipe saves on mixing bowls as well as time!)
Cover the bottom of your bowl or trifle dish with 1/3 of the angel food cake pieces. Pour some of the juice from the frozen fruit over the cake. Spoon over this equal amounts of the defrosted frozen and fresh fruits. Cover with the Cool Whip mix.
Repeat twice, for three layers total, finishing with the last of the Cool Whip mixture. Save out a few nice looking bits of fruit to decorate the top with. My mother likes to make flowers out of blueberries and strawberries - it looks very fancy.
Taa-daah! Lug it along to the shower/potluck/luncheon and wait for the ohhs and aahs.
Sorry for the delay in getting this up - our internet connection was down yesterday! Such is life in rural Maine. - JSF